Saturday, November 19, 2011

Playing the "It Could be Worse" Game

Cancer gives you a lot of time to reflect. If, like me, you are prone to freaking out about your potential sooner-than-expected demise (and you all should be - I'm awesome) you spend a lot of time rationalizing. One of the most effective ways to do this is to think about all the ways that it could be worse. I do this a lot. Turns out, it helps. It provides perspective.

Does getting a cancer diagnosis suck? Why, yes, yes it does.

Is it worse than getting eaten by a shark? No, not really.

See, we're all feeling better.

The weird thing is, I know that I am now in one of those situations that people look to when they play the "it could be worse game." I imagine there are some inner monologues out there that look a lot like this: "Yeah, I have a really terrible boss that I totally despise, but at least I don't have cancer like Laura". I actually don't mind at all. If I can help anyone to feel better about whatever crappy is going on in their life at that exact moment, I'm happy to do that. There should be some upside to cancer, and if the upside happens to be you don't have it, all the more power to you.

The thing I don't like is how people feel they can't complain to me anymore. People! I love complaining. It's akin to gossip - which I also love! But now during conversations individuals are always apologizing and saying things like "I shouldn't even be saying this to you, it's nothing compared to what you have to deal with." Well, I'm here to set the record straight: I still care about what is happening with other people. If I'm being perfectly honest, it would be true to say that I might care more about myself these days than I would normally, but that doesn't mean I don't want to hear about how you have to pay a parking ticket even though you were only 5 minutes late getting to the car. Meaning, you can still complain to me about stuff, even stuff that you feel is trivial because I still give a damn.

Laura, giving a damn since 1980.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for giving a damn about my vocal cord recovery, which I suspect may be the catalyst for today's post. You still win the game of being the sicker person for now though, so I will continue to coddle you. Sorry. If it makes you feel any better, I enjoy doing it.
    When it's my turn, I expect you to baby me like there's no tomorrow. Deal?